President Donald Trump has unveiled the key priorities for his Presidents Management Agenda in his “America First” Budget Plan for FY 2018 – and five major initiatives will impact virtually every federal government program.
Federal managers will be under the gun to show performance measures and “evidence” to justify their budgets, a major reorganization effort will be conducted and proposed to Congress, and some much-needed flexibility will be given to federal managers as long as they show improved results.
To help federal managers understand and implement these requirements, the new Trump Management Initiatives will be the focus of the upcoming Government Performance Summit in Washington DC being held April 18-19, 2017. (Register here)
What will be asked of federal program managers under the Trump Management Agenda? Here are the five major themes:
- Performance Management: The Trump Administration will emphasize the use of performance measures and “evidence” to justify the continued existence and funding of all federal programs. Specifically the “America First” plan says each program “will be responsible for reporting critical performance metrics and showing demonstrable improvement.” Expect OMB to issue additional guidance on program-level performance reviews soon.
- Budget Justifications: Trump is using a “pay-as-you-go” approach to investing more than $54 billion in Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans programs while cutting a commensurate amount from all other federal departments to pay for it. Within each agency, Trump has said he expect government programs to “do more with less” by embracing partnerships, streamlining operations, and embracing innovative ways to deliver results.
- More Flexibility with Accountability: Previous Administrations and Congresses have passed laws and issued orders filled with compliance and process mandates for improving federal management – covering HR, IT, Acquisition, Financial Management, and more. While some of the initiatives brought improvements, an enormous burden exists to generate reports on compliance. Trump’s Management Agenda considers some of the management initiative compliance burden to have “low value” and will be streamlining guidance in HR, IT, Financial Management, and Acquisition soon. Federal managers and C-Level Executives will be given more flexibility, but will be held more accountable for showing improvements.
- Reorganization: Trump has issued an Executive Order initiating a government-wide reorganization review with the goal of consolidating programs that are duplicative or overlapping; outsourcing to private partners or state and local actors; and enhancing coordination in shared mission areas. Trump has committed to send a formal reorganization proposal to Congress within a year.
- Regulatory Reform: Trump has also issued several Executive Orders instructing agencies to dramatically cut regulatory burdens. Agencies will have to conduct rigorous cost-benefit analyses to justify existing regulations and will be held accountable for demonstrating a new reduction in regulatory burden.
The Trump Management Agenda builds on previous Administrations efforts to improve the management of the federal government. Instead of fearing the effort, federal managers should take the initiatives contained in the Trump Management Agenda as an opportunity to rethink how their programs function and how to demonstrate continued improvement in achieving their missions.
Carl DeMaio is Founder and President of the Performance Institute.